Abu Dhabi Test: Australia 47/1 at stumps on Day 3, need 491 runs to beat Pakistan

first_imgBabar Azam narrowly missed out on his maiden Test century but Pakistan strengthened their grip on the second and final Test against Australia by setting them a 538-run target in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.Azam fell for a career-best 99 and captain Sarfraz Ahmed failed to score a century for the second time in the same Test falling for 81 before Pakistan declared their second innings at 400/9, giving themselves two days to win the Test.Pakistan delayed their declaration perhaps thinking about the first Test in Dubai, where Australia had escaped defeat. In Dubai, Pakistan had declared with just a little under five sessions to be played and despite being given a massive 462-run target to win, Australia held on with just two wickets to spare.This time around, Pakistan set an even bigger target for Australia and gave themselves a little more than six session to win the match. Australia, already burdened with a daunting task, lost Shaun Marsh for just four runs with an incredible delivery by debutant Mir Hamza after Marsh and Aaron Finch opened the innings with Usman Khawaja injured.Pakistan vs Australia 2nd Test Day 3: HIGHLIGHTSBy stumps on day three, Australia were 47-1 — Aaron Finch not out on 24 and Travis Head on 17.That’s stumps. Pakistan are nine wickets away from a series win with two days still to play in Abu Dhabi: https://t.co/oisEOaAba8 #PAKvAUS pic.twitter.com/F6UwguxQDWcricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) October 18, 2018Pakistan resumed their innings from 144-2 overnight and the morning session was lowlighted by Azhar Ali’s embarrassing run out on 64.advertisementAli steered a delivery through slips and the ball rolled towards the boundary. Ali didn’t run, believing he had hit a four, and met Asad Shafiq in the middle of the pitch to talk.But the ball stopped just short of the boundary at third man, and the chasing Mitchell Starc threw it at the striker’s end and captain Tim Paine whipped the bails off.All this while, Azhar Ali and Shafiq were chatting on the pitch. Ali, playing his 67th Test, and Shafiq, playing his 63rd, were dumbfounded while the Australians celebrated a little slice of luck.Schoolboy error!Azhar Ali assumed that the ball had reached the boundary, and this brain fade led to a comical run-out that will make every highlight reel from the match! #PAKvAUS #SPNSports pic.twitter.com/mYAGukuITBSPN- Sports (@SPNSportsIndia) October 18, 2018That dropped Pakistan to 160-4 but Shafiq and particularly Azam and Sarfraz took advantage of a tiring Australia attack. Shafiq was the only wicket to fall in the middle session, caught at point for 44.Then Azam and Sarfraz dominated, briskly scoring 133 runs for the sixth wicket. Australia couldn’t break the partnership even with the second new ball.Azam was on 99 when he fell lbw to seamer Mitchell Marsh while trying to play across the line. Azam’s disappointment was obvious. His 161-ball knock included six fours and three sixes.Offspinner Nathan Lyon, burdened with much of the workload, then grabbed two wickets in one over, those of Bilal Asif (15) and Yasir Shah (4).Legspinner Marnus Labuschagne got Sarfraz when the captain missed a sweep and was trapped lbw. Ahmed faced 123 balls and hit five fours and a six.Lyon finished with 4-135 from 43 overs, and eight wickets in the match.Marsh was forced to open the innings after regular opener Usman Khawaja injured his troublesome left knee during a warm-up before the third day’s play. He didn’t field all day and had to drop down the order.This is the fourth different opening partnership for Australia in as many Tests #PAKvAUS pic.twitter.com/WAXxjKtEgccricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) October 18, 2018Marsh has struggled in the series, which has ended for him with scores of 7, 0, 3 and 4. The lefthander couldn’t cope against the Pakistan seamers, and gave Hamza his first Test wicket when he lost his off stump.(With AP inputs)last_img read more